Over the past decade, Drake has been blessing us with timeless tracks that not only hit the charts but also hit us right in the feels. Among these bangers, there’s a series of gems that stand out – the much-loved timestamp songs that have become a defining element in the Toronto rapper’s illustrious catalogue.
The timestamp series, with each title reppin’ a specific time and place, paints a vivid picture of Drake’s mindset and experiences in those moments. It all started with “9am in Dallas,” and from there, we’ve been taken on a wild ride through time and space with timeless tracks like “4pm in Calabasas,” “7am on Bridle Path,” “6pm in New York,” “Do Not Disturb” (“7am in Germany”), and the legendary “5am in Toronto.”
These timestamp joints not only showcase Drake’s artistic evolution and mindset over the years, but they also assert his status as a lyrical powerhouse , solidifying his position right up there with the Kendricks and Coles. Every cold bar, every new flow, every vivid emotion – it’s all pure raps, proving that Drizzy is a true wordsmith who can conjure up feelings with memorable bars in a way that no other rapper from his generation can.
So let’s get into it. From the melancholic “Do Not Disturb” to the confrontational “5am in Toronto,” we rank every Drake timestamp song from worst to best.
“9am in Dallas”
Release date: June 15, 2010
Hardest lines: “Throwing up in the huddle ni**a, Willie Beamen / But still throwing touchdown passes”
Around the time Drake released “9am in Dallas,” the Toronto rapper was gearing up to drop his major label debut album, Thank Me Later , and it was clear that he was brimming with excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a tinge of anxiety. Drizzy was still navigating the rap game, eager to prove himself to both the masses and industry skeptics who were all wondering whether if the former Degrassi actor really was the next big thing in hip hop. “9 AM in Dallas” encapsulates the essence of a rookie year Drake , showcasing his unique blend of confidence and vulnerability as he masterfully switches between boasting and introspection – a trait that has evolved over time. The track’s legacy endures as a reminder of Drake’s humble beginnings and the raw talent that would propel him to superstardom.
“4pm in Calabasas”
Release date: June 4, 2016
Hardest lines: “‘Mike never tried to rap like Pac, Pac never tried to sing like Mike’ / Those my dad’s words to me when I asked him how to make it in life”
Soaking in West Coast vibes, “4pm in Calabasas” serves up sun-soaked production and intricate wordplay. Released in 2016, this laid-back gem has Drizzy waxing poetic about his newfound success, but it doesn’t quite carry the emotional weight of the upper echelon of timestamp tracks. With lyrics like “Cash in deposits, 24/7, Kinko’s life,” Drake acknowledges the constant grind of his career, while the opening line “All you self-promoters are janky” signals his disdain for industry fakeness. While there are some shots aimed at Joe Budden, and Meek Mill, the best ones are saved for Puffy as the Toronto superstar interpolates elements from the Bad Boy head honcho’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” to add more spice to the disses.
“7am On Bridle Path”
Release date: September 3, 2021
Hardest lines: “And look at the heroes fallin’ from grace in their older ages / If we talkin’ top three, then you been slidin’ to third like stolen bases”
Drake’s timestamp songs are revered for their cunning ambiguity, masterfully throwing subtle jabs while leaving some disses open to interpretation. “7 AM on Bridle Path” is no exception, standing as the latest installment in Drake’s long-standing feud with Kanye West. On this standout track, he’s more direct than ever, branding his rival as delusional, past his prime, and desperate for attention, while throwing an avalanche of bars and punchlines. Featured on Certified Lover Boy , “7 AM on Bridle Path” showcases Drake as the unrelenting king of pettiness while at the same time serving as a bold exclamation mark on a game in which he has already been dominating for years .
“6pm in New York”
Release date: February 13, 2015
Hardest lines: “I heard a lil, lil homie talking reckless in Vibe / That’s quite a platform you chose, you should’ve kept it inside / Oh, you tried? It’s so childish calling my name on the world stage / You need to act your age and not your girl’s age”
With its chilling beat and contemplative lyrics, “6pm in New York” finds Drake in a darker, more aggressive space. From the 2015 mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late , this standout track delves into the complexities of fame and the toll it takes on relationships – a theme that resonates deeply with fans. The line “I got a backyard where money seems to come from the trees” speaks to the financial success Drake has achieved, while “You and the six raised me right, that shit saved my life” pays homage to his Toronto roots. Along the way, Drizzy also takes some time out to send shots Tyga’s way.
“Do Not Disturb” (“7am in Germany”)
Release date: March 18, 2017
Hardest lines: “Last verse that I gotta do is always like surgery / Always tryin’ to let go of anything that’ll burden me”
While technically not labeled as a timestamp song, “Do Not Disturb” from 2017’s More Life is still widely recognized as one, thanks to its mention of “7am in Germany.” A haunting, introspective look at the burdens of success, this track showcases a vulnerable side of Drake, resonating with listeners on a deeper level. Lines like “I’ll be back in 2018 to give you the summary” and “Nobody’s had more golden ages than me” reveal Drake’s awareness of his own impact on the music industry. The instrumental, produced by Boi-1da and 40, is one of the best beats Drake has ever rapped on in his career.
“8AM in Charlotte”
Release date: October 6, 2023
Album: For All The Dogs
Hardest lines: “They tried to kill him, but the boy prevails I leave for tour and my niggas fuckin’ go to jail”
In one breath, Drizzy dazzles us with tales of opulence and dominance, brandishing lines that spotlight an unapologetic indulgence in the spoils of his success. Yet, the tone is no mere gloat fest; it’s punctuated by moments of poignant vulnerability and a critical gaze toward both his inner circle and himself. The track, demonstrate’s not only Drake’s artistry but his adept ability to mirror the internal conflicts that simmer beneath the glossy exterior of hip-hop royalty. It’s a masterful balance of ego and humility, highlighting Drake’s prowess in navigating through the celebratory and the cynical, crafting a narrative that’s both a mirror and a magnifying glass upon the industry and himself.
“5am in Toronto”
Release date: March 7, 2013
Hardest lines: “Give these ni**as the look, the verse, and even the hook / That’s why every song sound like Drake featurin’ Drake”
Crowning the list is the legendary “5am in Toronto.” Oozing with confidence, assertiveness, and a touch of arrogance, this 2013 track is Drake at his lyrical zenith. The sheer bravado and unapologetic swagger on display solidify “5am in Toronto” as the pinnacle of the timestamp series. Lines like “Give these ni**as the look, the verse, and even the hook, that’s why every song sound like Drake featuring Drake” cement his dominance in the game, while “without me, rap is just a bunch of orphans” talks about his belief in his own influence on the hip hop landscape. This is peak, lyrical Drake who has the confidence and swagger of a veteran but hunger for a rookie.